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Do Goldendoodles Need Their Glands Expressed?

Do Goldendoodles Need Their Glands Expressed?

Smelly dogs are a sensitive subject, but it’s a stinky part of being a dog parent that we need to expect.

A foul smell from your dog is an easy reason to get annoyed, but it’s crucial to remember that your dog is as baffled by the scent as you are.

There are many reasons your Goldendoodle might smell; luckily, anal gland issues are uncommon in Goldendoodles. Still, if you encounter problems, it’s essential to know what you’re looking for and how to handle them. Here’s‘s guide to help you out.

Does My Goldendoodle Need Its Anal Glands Expressed Regularly?

Routine anal gland expression is not a part of owning a Goldendoodle. Some dogs require regular anal sac treatment, usually smaller dogs, but it can affect dogs of all sizes.

Expressing a Goldendoodle’s glands when it’s not necessary may become a recurring issue leading to a chronic problem.

If your dog’s glands are infected and they need to be expressed, then this is something that a vet clinic should always do. It’s a simple and cheap procedure for a professional and is much safer for your pup than attempting it yourself.

How Can I Tell If My Dog’s Anal Glands Need To Be Expressed?

The most common sign of inflamed or sore glands is butt scooting. This is your dog attempting to scratch the itch that’s causing them stress and relieve some pressure and discomfort. This is the most common symptom, but there are other behaviors to look out for, such as:

  • A strong fishy smell
  • Redness and inflammation
  • Persistent licking or biting of their butt
  • Blood or puss
  • Constipation

What Causes Anal Gland Issues?

Several causes can contribute to anal gland impaction. As a pet parent, you should look out for the following in your Groodle:

  • Diarrhea – Consistent stool is what’s responsible for causing the pressure that releases the secretion of glands. Inconsistent stools caused by diarrhea won’t cause a healthy expression of glands and lead to an unhealthy build-up.
  • Constipation – An inability to defecate will stop your dog’s glands from being expressed.
  • Yeast or skin infection – Fungal infections such as Malassezia can cause inflammation in the anal glands which can lead to irritated skin, a smelly odor, and anal gland problems
  • Poor diet – A diet low in fiber can lead to unhealthy stool that prevents healthy anal gland expression.
  • Obesity- Many health issues come along with overweight dogs. Excess fat can interrupt the proper function of the muscles in anal sacs and prevent them from contracting correctly. A padding of fat can also prevent dogs from manually expressing their glands with their tongues and make scooting ineffective.
  • Hypothyroidism – Low hormone levels caused by a low-functioning thyroid can affect the healthy expression of anal glands.

Treating Anal Glad Issues

Pet parents will need to help their pup out once in a while by taking them to the vet to have their glands expressed. Thankfully, it’s not an expensive procedure and shouldn’t cost more than $30.

It’s always recommended that you get your vet or vet tech to carry out the simple procedure. This is because they are able to express the glands internally. When the external method is carried out by someone who isn’t trained, there is potential for performing it incorrectly.

How Can I Prevent Impacted Glands?

We’ll get to how a veterinarian will treat anal gland issues shortly, but first, let’s look at how you can adjust your dog’s lifestyle to tackle anal gland problems.

High fiber diet

Incorporating more fiber into your dog’s diet is the best early solution for this problem. A firm stool is key to helping glands express healthily, so a fiber-rich diet will help keep them on a regular stool schedule.

Psyllium is a soluble fiber that is often used to treat constipation in dogs and can help cure blocked anal glands.

If you’re happy with your dog’s current diet, then there’s no need to change your go-to kibble. You can add supplements like high-fiber chews to their diet. Adding natural fiber sources like sweet potato, green beans, flaxseeds, or canned pumpkin to their diet can also up their fiber intake considerably.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fish oil high in fatty acids can reduce the itching and inflammation caused by infection.

Warm compress

A compress or tea towel soaked in warm, salt water can help open up glad ducts and soothe impaction.

Impacted glands can be very uncomfortable for your dog, and applying a soothing warm compress can be exceptionally comforting for them.

Weight loss

Carrying too much weight brings a whole range of health problems, including discomfort and irritation of inflamed glands. Losing weight is often an excellent place to start to cure a range oil health issues.

The extra fat deposits around a dog’s anal glands will make it harder for them to express, leading to a nasty smell and potential infection.

Managing weight loss for your Goldendoodle is twofold; increase the calories they’re putting out while decreasing the calories they’re taking in.

Decrease their caloric intake by around 10-25% daily while maintaining their current walking schedule, and they will naturally begin to lose weight.


This follows from losing weight, of course, but exercise can benefit your dog beyond decreasing their daily food intake.

Giving your Goldendoodle a more vigorous exercise routine isn’t just a way to shift the excess weight but can also loosen up their blocked tubes. Exercise as simple as longer walks have been shown to alleviate anal gland issues.

If you’ve got a couch potato dog, then ease them into an exercise routine gently, and don’t launch them into a strenuous regimen from the get-go.

Use stool softeners

Impacted anal glands can cause a lot of pain when your dog needs to defecate, especially if they are suffering from swelling or abrasions.

Stool softeners can make their movements more manageable and cause them less stress and pain.

Should I Contact a Vet?

When your dog starts scooting their butt along the floor, this is a sure sign of an anal gland issue, and you’d be justified to contact a veterinarian as soon as you see them doing this.

While you might be able to express their glands at home, be advised that it’s stinky business, and you’d just as well get a trained vet to perform this simple procedure.

Once your Goldendoodle has had its glands expressed by a veterinarian, it may be prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the swelling the problem has caused.

Antibiotics may also be prescribed to prevent future infections causing similar issues. If your dog continually suffers from this problem and needs to have its glands expressed regularly, your vet may advise removing them, though this is a rare course of action.

Can anal glands become infected if left untreated?

Yes. If the anal glands are impacted, then there is the potential for infection. As a responsible pet parent, it’s your responsibility to make sure your pup is seen by a vet if you suspect there is a problem.


What else might be making my Goldendoodle smell?

There are a few reasons besides compacted anal sacs that might be making your Goldendoodle smell. As with other dogs, look out for symptoms like gas, eye infections, dental issues, or an improperly cleaned coat.

Sebaceous adenitis is a skin condition that can prevent your dog from producing oils that can lead to dry, flaky skin and a bad smell. This condition is easily treated with shampoo with salicylic acid to help with exfoliation.

Your Goldendoodle might also smell after exercise if they rolled in something they shouldn’t have! 

Does having their glands expressed hurt a dog?

No, most dogs find having their glands expressed completely painless and it’s also a very quick process.


Final Thoughts

Goldendoodles don’t need their glands regularly expressed like many small breeds of dogs. If you begin to express them, this can weaken the muscles and lead to gland issues recurring.

If you notice your dog is scooching on their butt, this can be cute at first, but it’s an indication that you should give them a check and consider taking them to a veterinarian. They will advise you on what steps to take at home to make your dog more comfortable.

While you can make adjustments to their day-to-day life, getting the problem diagnosed is the most important step so you can treat your stinky Goldendoodle properly and get them back to smelling normal again!